David Reagan, Atlanta Personal Trainer, Breaks Down How Physical Fitness Impacts College Students’ Academic Performance


Between challenging classes, long study hours, clubs, internships, and social events, the life and schedule of a college student can get crammed. David Reagan, an Atlanta native, is a NASM-certified personal trainer whose primary clientele balance health and wellness with a busy schedule. The constantly-on-the-go lifestyle that a college career usually demands makes fitting in exercise difficult. However, according to Reagan, dedicating time to physical fitness can improve a college student’s academic performance. He reveals how here: 

Takes an Hour

North Carolina State University published a study that shared researchers discovering a link between physical fitness and academic performance. After studying the academic performance and physical activity habits of over 21,000 undergraduate students, researchers found that an increase in weekly exercise elevates grade point averages (GPA) in school. The study showed how one additional hour of physical activity weekly could positively impact total GPA, resulting in a 0.06 improvement. 

Though that grade boost seems small, the lead researcher Dr. Heather Sanderson explained that going from no additional physical activity to developing habitual exercise engagement for three hours per week can lift a total GPA score by 0.18 points. The study also found how developing the same weekly physical activity habits also elevated the odds of graduating college by 49 percent. According to federal guidelines, 150 minutes of moderate physical activity is a great goal to maintain to start receiving the benefits of exercise as a studying student. 

Improves the Brain

When connecting the impact of physical fitness on college students’ academic performance, the focus is on the cause and effect of physical activity to fuel brain power. Thanks to brain research, evidence continuously proves how critical physical activity is for numerous features of cognitive functions. Exercise boosts academic performance because physical activity is a primary resource to improve brain development, brain neurotrophic factors, and total general health. 

Helps with Sleep

In addition to bettering academic performance, physical fitness can also enhance sleep quality, ultimately circling back to also increasing academic performance. John Hopkins Medicine shares specific insight from the medical director of John Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital, Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., on the matter. Gamaldo states that “solid evidence” reveals that exercise aids in enhancing sleep quality and falling asleep faster. Good sleep also helps with brain functions, such as proper nerve cell communication. 

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH) states that lack of sleep results in the brain’s inability to form or maintain pathways that allow for learning and creating new memories. Not enough sleep can make concentrating more challenging and delayed reactions. More severe issues such as depression, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure can be a result of a consistent lack of sleep. 

In conclusion, Reagan highly recommends college students consistently get the right amount of sleep paired with a weekly, if not daily, routine revolving around elevating physical activity. As he tells all of his clients, putting in the work for proper physical health only positively affects other areas of life, such as academic performance. 

About David Reagan

David Reagan is a NASM Certified personal trainer from Atlanta, GA, who specializes in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition. He caters to high-end clients and executives, helping them achieve their fitness goals by accommodating their busy schedules. The client’s needs come first, and David’s fitness plan will set you up on the path to success.